Hedonistic hiking

Dead Horse Gap, Kosciuszko National Park

Above the treeline, Dead Horse Gap, Kosciuszko National Park

“Hedonistic hiking” is the title of an article in a glossy little (“free at selected tourist outlets in Australia” but otherwise  $24.95pa) magazine I picked up in Melbourne a couple of months ago. The mag is called essentials magazine: culture, culinary, adventure. Can you tell me how the word “culinary” fits in there syntactically? The issue I picked up (free at some selected outlet obviously) was its – and I quote – “issue 15 mid-spring ‘Chrissy issue’ 2009” edition. What is that? Who is this magazine geared to? Anyhow, the article is essentially (ha!) a promo for gourmet hiking tours in Europe. It caught my eye though because it’s a term that could apply to our annual Thredbo sojourn. We are not campers – and we don’t eat gourmet food on our walks. Rather, we love to bushwalk and then go out and eat (well). Thredbo caters for this predilection of ours in a setting that is both beautiful and compact. We arrive, park our car, check into our lovely studio apartment with its view of the mountains, and then walk and eat to our heart’s delight.

But of course, there is more to this area than hedonism and hiking. Thredbo is in the Snowy Mountains of Australia, the mountains famous for AB Paterson’s “The Man from Snowy River” and Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby series of books to name just two cultural icons from the region. Nearby is the town of Jindabyne, the setting for the rather gut-wrenching Australian film of the same name. It was loosely adapted from a Raymond Carver story titled “So much water so close to home”. As lovely as the mountains are, wireless connection here is iffy so I shall sign off, sit back and sip my Chardonnay while I enjoy the sun setting on Crackenback.

POSTSCRIPT: And there are nods to the cultural heritage here, such as Banjo Drive and the Silver Brumby Lodge in Thredbo, and the Man from Snowy River Hotel in Perisher. It’s rather subtle though – the hints are there but it’s not overdone. And there’s nothing wrong with that in a place that wears its commercial side rather lightly too.

13 thoughts on “Hedonistic hiking

    • Sorry for the late reply – wireless access was difficult and inconvenient up there. That gizmo is I believe a frame for signage…I think maybe it is used in the ski season for signs for skiers.

  1. Is that coreopsis in the foreground? The gizmo looks a little like one of those ‘health stations’ we have in parks with the works missing. You know – a sign saying “Do 25 Chin Ups here!” or directions for crunches on a special board.

    • Hi Sidney, thanks for popping by. No it’s not a Coreopsis (I have photographed those in the US deserts – and they are a similar cheery bright yellow aren’t they?). These are Billy Buttons and belong to the Craspedia family. They have a tight rounded button head – hence their name. Re the gizmo. I know what you are referring to. We have them in some of our urban parks here, but you have probably seen my response to Lisa – it is simply a frame for signs I believe.

      I will be posting photos of this trip on my Facebook page – for those who are my friends there – and some on Flickr. I didn’t take so many flower photographs this year as I have taken them so many times now I didn’t really find many new or differently presented ones to add to my little catalogue of wildflower shots!

  2. I love that concept! ‘Hedonistic Hiking’. I aspire to hedonistic hiker. I would like to be an exponent of hiking the hedonistic trail.
    Enjoy!
    We’re back home and Ross has gone into work so he can work there! Madness! Floods, Now fire bans again. And mozzies!

  3. We did enjoy and are sadly back in the HEAT of the capital. It was warming up there we could tell as we left this am but not the temp it is here (and probably where you are). I hope Ross has an easy season of it. I bet it’s a worrying time for him – and thus for you too. Will post photos, anyhow, of hedonistic hiking, on Facebook…

  4. You obviously enjoyed yourself! I go every year to France with a friend for a few days of walking and eating. A few miles of slog, then a five course meal in the evening. Lovely.

    I enjoyed reading about Simon Armitage’s CDs. My knowledge of the Odyssey is restricted to the Cohen Brothers film Og Brother Where Art Thou which I believe is based on it.

    • Yes, we did. It’s lovely having these traditions isn’t it? Your idea of walking holidays sound just like ours! You know, I’d forgotten about Oh brother where art thou? I think there is some relationship. I should look at it again…I do like the Coen Brothers (not that I’ve seen all) and have reviewed here (briefly) their latest.

    • We did! We have been going annually for quite a few years now and just love it. I will email you separately a link to a selection of photos from the trip, just in case you are interested.

  5. As the owner of Hedonistic Hiking I was very interested to read your comments! Besides our walks in Italy we operate some great guided hiking tours over the mountains from Thredbo, namely in the Victorian High Country. I’ve heard great things about the food and wine on offer in Thredbo from some recent guests of ours who always go there for the Blues Festival. Come and check out what’s on offer here and try the delights of Simones of Bright, Provenance of Beechworth, Ringer Reef wines and lots more. Look forward to seeing you – a presto!

    • Thanks Jackie. I had no idea you did that. I just love your name … when Mr Gums retires next year we might just check you out because, while I’ve been to Beechworth I haven’t really explored the Victorian High Country.

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